During the days of rampant wars and aggressions among nations, major world leaders made foreign policy statements that came to be known as doctrines.
President Harry Truman’s foreign policy of the United States supporting Greece and Turkey with military and financial aid to prevent them from falling in to soviet sphere has popularly became known as the Truman Doctrine. During the cold war both soviet and American leaders came out with various doctrines that came to represent their foreign policy directions. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in 1968 justified soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in a speech at Polish workers party congress.
He made the point that it is the concern of socialist countries to stand up to any capitalist manoeuvring that seeks to turn the development of socialist countries towards capitalism. The Brezhnev doctrine formed the core of soviet foreign policy until the Sinatra Doctrine of Glasnost and Perestroika introduced by Mikhail Gobachev that gave the leeway to satellite states of the Soviet Union to determine their own internal affairs without Moscow’s interventions.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, Russian’s stance and disposition on international politics has been that of placidity and ambivalence giving the United States the dominance on the world stage. Though Russia did not agree with most of United States’ unilateral actions of aggression as a member of the UN Security Council, but they never stepped forward with a strong opposition and a subsequent counter action. During the cold war, Russian’s equal match gave rise to the Cuba missile crises which saved Cuba from United States predation.
The cold war is over and Russian’s concentration is more on building it’s weak economy than engaging in needless wars that will not bring any direct benefit to its people and that is exactly what Vladimir Putin have done so far. After sitting on the fence for a while, I see Russian standing up and taking her proper position among comity of nations as a world leader. Russia’s audacious and timely intervention in the Syria crisis is what the world have been starved of since the fall of the Soviet Union.
My respect and admiration for Putin shot up to the height of Himalayas when he stepped in to the Syrian crisis to put things under control. Assad was prepared to go for the kill should America attempt anything. And before America could get Assad, the civilian casualty would have quadrupled the numbers that were killed in the Damascus shelling. Putin’s pacifist approach which got Assad to concede on his stockpile of chemical weapon to be placed under international supervision and subsequently destruction saved the world another war and chemical weapon.
Putin and his foreign minister Sergey Lavrov were able to get the United State around the diplomatic table to save the world another needless war which may rather end up more devastating than the actions that precipitated it.
In my views Obama was rather indecisive on what is the best way forward for America and the world. President Obama was full of contradictions in his speech to the nation of America about Syria on the eve of 9/11. On one breath he said U.S is not the world’s policeman and that America is tired of going to wars and on other hand maintained that United States was an anchor of global security for nearly seven decades and this meant doing more than forging international agreement—which means enforcing them. It is only “Policemen” who anchor security, it only “Policemen” who enforce laws. So how do we reconcile these two statements coming from the same person in the same speech?
Putin who Americans chastised and criticised so much for being an autocratic and undemocratic dictator is now the one teaching America the path of diplomacy. Putin came under heavy criticism over his decision to remain in power after his first two terms but to be fair to him he did nothing illegal, the Russian constitution allows him a renewable term after a lapse between the first two terms. America until the 22nd amendment gave their presidents unlimited terms and Franklin Roosevelt would have ruled for more than twenty years but for his untimely death after serving only twelve years of his fourth term. And there was nothing dictatorial and undemocratic about that?
Putin has also come under heavy criticism over his human right records regarding Mikhail Kodokovsky, Anna Politskovskaya, Alexander Letvinienko, Pussy riot, Gay right etc. But is Russia not a state ruled by laws? Why should the laws of Russia been seen as Putin himself? In my candid opinion, the Ex-KGB strong man is the man Russians and the world need at this moment. I wouldn’t want to dabble in the internal politics of Russia but no one is perfect. America is not a perfect state either and cannot continue to sanctimoniously set the ground rules for the world to follow. America’s contribution to the cause of humanity cannot be gainsaid but their excesses too cannot be overlooked.
The growing hostilities in Syria hit a disturbing notch when information emerged from Damascus about government shelling of innocent citizens with chemical weapons. The horrifying images of women and children gassed to death were so disgusting to say the least. Not again! after the horrible atrocities committed by Sadam Hussein against his own people in the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988.
The world got concerned, and united states who have always supported and armed the Syrian rebels were ready to strike Assad in retaliation for the alleged gruesome slaughter of his own people with a chemical weapon. Assad though did accept having chemical weapons after initial denials but has consistently maintained his innocence about his involvement in the Damascus gas use. He accused the rebels as the culprits behind the gas shelling to provoke foreign intervention. The United States was very convinced Assad was complicit in the atrocity but who will believe U.S after Bush’s Secretary of State Collin Powell sent a lab tub sample of anthrax, supposedly weaponised by Saddam Hussein to the UN Security Council to convinced member of the existence of Chemical weapon in Iraq. It later turned out to be a hoax after America attacked Iraq. So even if it’s actually true that Assad used those weapons; America’s account cannot be credible in the eyes of many. America have had difficulties in managing war situations in countries where they have intervened and should have learn to resort to force as their last option after all diplomatic negotiations fails but rather they were battle ready to add Syria to the albatross of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya already hanging on their neck.
If America was really tired of wars as President Obama intimated, why then didn’t President Obama explore all diplomatic avenues before going to congress to seek approval to strike Syria? I for one appreciate United States’ role in checking rogue nations but must they always peruse aggression at the expense of diplomacy? I would have wished to see U.S swiftly intervened in Rwanda whiles innocent civilians are slaughtered in that gruesome genocide, but there was no show when they were most needed. Wars have failed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya so why go for war again?
Putin’s Pacifist doctrine of diplomatic consensus in difficult situations even when it was evident that chemical weapons were used on innocent citizens have come to change the business of international relations and diplomacy in our time. I pray Russia whip Assad in line to see the Geneva accord to its logical conclusion.
Source: Franklin Yayra Adorsu-Djentuh - [email protected]/www.yayrafranklin.wordpress.com
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